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  • #1394

      Does the world alzheimer work? or the word puppies or the word house and holidays… mmm buy a new car? or save money?
      or monkey island? the big mama is drunk and she gives you soup…


        Yann was thinking about their first kiss. They were not in physical proximity but the sensations were quite real, and it was enhanced by their mergence. When he talked about that with Quintin, his friend told him he had felt it too. He was in Scotland at that time, and they were playing energy games and creating connections. It was very intense and more and more intimate.

        Yann was in Scotland with his friend Bruno, and one night, as they were sleeping in the same bed, Yann was dreaming of Quintin, he was taking his hand. At that moment, Yann was also aware that his friend Bruno was taking his hand in the “real” world. He’d been thinking that his friend was channeled by Bruno, it was a fun idea :)

        They eventually planned a meeting in real life as soon as Yann would be back from Scotland… 4 days. Quintin even met Yann’s parents then, as his friend Bruno had organized a “surprise” for Yann’s birthday. When Quintin arrived at the train station, they both were feeling a bit awkward, didn’t really know how to say hello :yahoo_big_hug: :yahoo_thinking: :yahoo_kiss: :yahoo_thinking: well for now a hug was perfect. Yann was feeling a strong desire to kiss his friend, he was very attracted and the feeling was quite different from their energy games in Scotland. The physical proximity was creating barriers that weren’t there before… maybe the fear of being intrusive or aggressive…

        One thing at a time… they were eventually together for 4 days. It was a beginning.

        Quintin had some stuffs to take care of before they could go to Yann’s appartment. Something to do with his previous appartment, mail to check, some stuffs to take… Nothing particular to tell about that… Yann let Quintin do what he had to do, though he had a strong desire to stroke his hair. After a moment, that’s what he did.

        Quintin smiled. Yann was feeling an intense warmth in his body and he approached his head and kissed him. Well, that was awkward :)) but soon they were very comfortably lying on the bed and playing different games.

        Wow thinking again about all that was making him feel hot. Better go to work a little.


          If Tina hadn’t hung up the phone so fast, Becky mumbled to herself, I could have told her I was with Sam, and she could say hello to him herself. And I could have asked her to come over and help me try to get some rice water down him.

          So far he’d refused, asking instead for flowers and sweets. Delirious, Becky suspected, and running a fever. And still scribbling all that jibberish!


            The Assassin was already in the room when Baul came in… Baul wasn’t sure if he would have prefered him not to be here so he could himself gather his mind. But he was well used to camouflage his feelings and inner struggle and his face was quite smiling, as usual.

            Looking at the Assassin’s face, Baul was feeling very uncomfortable, he almost winced… the bluish glow of the dagger tatoo on the forehead of the man was quite disgusting. Baul kept smiling though, he wouldn’t dare show his own weakness to anyone, especially an Assassin. His eyes were piercing his soul, if Baul had believed in such thing he would have run away, but he didn’t believe in anything except himself and the power of money.

            As the Assassin was never talking first, Baul presented his offer putting the object he had brought on the table.

            — Open the chest. You’ll find your paiement inside.


            Ar’Am Khra was waiting, still gazing sharply at Baul, making him feel even more uncomfortable.
            The Assassin was quite impressed with how the man Baul could master his own reactions, and though he was quite intrigued by what his client had brought, he wanted to play for a few moments. With a very slight movement of his eyebrows, so slight one wouldn’t have notice, he managed to add an irritation in his look. He saw the movement of fear in his client’s face, but still it was so subtle he could have imagined it.


            Baul pushed the chest toward the Assassin, a bit nervous, but he could …. a sudden thought came to his mind, wandering like a Strokgnutch in a henhouse. He swallowed imperceptibly… Had someone already put a contract on his head? He managed a smile as he was opening the chest for the Assassin.


            This Baul was quite impressive. Ar’Am Khra had known what he was thinking as though he could read his mind.

            He lowered his eyes to look at what was in the chest. He really desired being surprised by his clients, and this one had never failed to surprise him…


            Once again…


            Baul was surprised as the Assassin wasn’t showing any hint of the slightest emotion at all… Would he show anything else than disdain even once!?


            — A glubolín :yahoo_alien:


              — Daddy, daddy! I want to come with you!

              Young Peregrine had been running after his father at the moment when he had put the letter in his pocket ready to go off the streets.

              — Oh, really? Sean Doran Wrick was weighing the possibilities.

              Peregrine was still in fluffy rabbit slippers and pajamas, but he had a very determined look on his young face.

              — Then perhaps we should ask Guinevere to come with us too?
              — OK, I go ask her!

              And off was Peregrine, running down the hall of the large Dublin apartment to his sister’s room.

              Sean was thoughtful… Well, Edmund had said that the private jet would be ready in an hour, so that was leaving him some time to have a nice beer at the pub before departing to New York to see the Traveling Reality Amusement Park, or T.R.A.P. for short, as the imaginative publicists of his father’s company had decided to brand the new revolutionary concept.

              Sean had been supervising the very first prototype before he had met Margaret, and then had got more interested in his “real” family life than in amusement travels in fairy lands… But nonetheless his father had trusted his flair, and had kept him informed of the developments of the project.
              Now, for the premiere of the T.R.A.P., he’d got some VIP invitations, but grieved with Margaret’s death, he had not wanted to go there at all. That is, until Becky had spoken about it…

              Peregrine came back with a pout on his face.
              — She’s not sure if she wants to come, he said…
              — Oh well. Then, let me have my beer, and I come back in a few minutes to see if you and your sister are ready. I’ll pick up whomever is ready and packed up.
              — Yipeeee! Peregrine’s eyes were gleaming with joy.


                Do you understand? George asked with a penetrating stare.

                Dory sighed, yeah yeah yeah. I must have read the concept a hundred or a thousand times, but I keep forgetting! Why is that George? I understand that in theory, but I always seem to forget, when the crunch comes to shove…her voice trailed off confusedly.


                  When Dory finally woke up from her coleslaw induced stupour, she felt quite befuddled. What a peculiar trip it had been! I’ve taken some recreational drugs in my time, Dory thought, but I’ve never had a trip quite like that one. She wondered what on earth George had drugged the coleslaw with. Dory closed her eyes again, recalling snatches of the hallucinations.

                  Being chased by bandits on hairpin mountain roads with a small baby girl in the car; being held at gunpoint by Idi Amin in an Afrian court; running, running, gasping with terror, chased by old fashioned Bobbies on pushbikes, and dough faced bowler hatted debt collectors…..

                  Dory’s heart was pounding again as she recalled the images that rolled along like a crazy movie montage, a psycho thriller, a horror movie…..

                  ……being held down under the bathwater as a baby with a vicious scowling face looming above her; fighting with a witch in the garden shed for tense petrifying hours; monstrous demons snaking blacky out of ouija boards, and madness and asylums; a man lying in a double bed dying from self inflicted stab wounds and she was shouting and calling and nobody hearing; running, running and gasping, shouting for help and no-one was there…..

                  Well, Dory pulled herself together, No point in dwelling on it, it was just a freaky bad trip.

                  Coffee? George asked.

                  Dory’s head snapped round. Huh? Oh! Gosh, YES please! You’re still here are you? Dory rubbed her eyes and shook herself a bit. Just the mention of coffee had already started to snap her out of her unpleasant reverie.

                  Of course I’m still here, Dory, George said kindly. I am always here. I was with you during you trip, every step of the way, but you were not focused on me.

                  You WERE? Dory was momentarily non-plussed. And then, Well why did you let all that awful stuff happen then? Why didn’t you help me? You just stood there and watched?


                    Írtak was playing with the dragon twins in the carved woodstones field. It was mostly faced shaped petrified wood that had been carved surely when it was still wood. The faces were quite hypnotic and made him feel often sleepy, but with the dragons he was feeling all his senses enhanced and sharpened. :face-glasses:

                    The dragons were growing fast, hatched only a few days ago, they were already bigger than his father… He knew from Malvina that they could take whatever form they wanted, but he’d always thought that their power were developing from nothing to … something… but apparently they were already fully aware. Their leather skin was glowing emerald green, blended with some purple pink shades, or was it the contrary. It was changing so quickly. He was wondering what they were eating, because he wasn’t the one who was giving them any food. And still they were so big.
                    Did they have a “real” form? Whatever that meant.

                    One of the dragon gave him a mischievous glance and before he could anticipate what would happen, he was facing a growling troll :yahoo_time_out:. The troll was running right to him, seemingly crushing with his heavy body all the fragile woodstoned faces.

                    All his attention was on the troll and he didn’t hear the man coming.
                    And now the troll was freezed running and jumping forever… Írtak’s head was like a big storm of boulders falling from the sky. Growling, drumbling apart…

                    — You have strange games with your dragons.
                    — …

                    He was gaping at the man… his skin was bluish with pink also and sometimes a bit of yellow.

                    — Who are you?
                    — Don’t you recognize me? :face-grin:

                    Írtak tried to remember something. had he ever met that man before?

                    — Oh right, it’s our first meeting… from your point of view. I’d forgotten that. But you see, for me our first meeting is in your future.
                    — …

                    Írtak was still gaping at the man, this strange skin of him, it was so ambrulin, that color he’d already see somewhere… was it in a dream?
                    The man looked at him, and he felt for a moment a warm fuzzy feeling in his body… not particularly located in any part of it… and he would have… no, it was even in the woodstoned faces around him… how could he feel that?

                    — Your dragons are wanting to take part in the fun, the man smiled. I’m going to let them go, as I’m not staying either.
                    — Who are you? managed Írtak.


                    — I’m your father…
                    HAHAHAHAHAH! No actually that’s a private joke… I’m Andrimiñ (AndruhMiiñ?) we’ll meet again in a few years of your time. Your dragons are really interesting then, and so are you.

                    Saying that, the time began to flow again in the right direction, the troll was still running toward him, but he suddenly slowed down and stopped, shape shifting into a bluish boy, with a face so similar to Andrimiñ.

                    — Where’s the funny man? he said.


                      The City, year 2257

                      Janice had just awoken from a strange dream, where she was watching big round cabbages being harvested in what looked like Quintin’s father garden. They were all firmly rooted on a black irrigation pole across the garden, and people were using strange devices to turn them all delicately and pick them afterwards. In the dream, there were black puppies too, sleeping in the straw of a kind of hut nearby. And she had seen another creature, and had been surprised first because it was unlike anything she had ever met, even in dreams. It was hairless and brown as soft mud, and was hiding in the neighbour’s garden. Then it had crossed and came to play with her…

                      Janice was lost in her thoughts strolling on the way to the common dome, when she met Rodney, her father’s friend.
                      They had been recently trying with her father Jacob, and also Qixi to connect with their shifting focuses of the Ancients, two centuries and half before their time.
                      Some of them, they had found, had been playing a sort of game of story-telling and clue-sowing… (Janice was laughing as her father’s friend, the scientist Arkandin, always insisted on seesawing instead)

                      Perhaps her dream was telling her that the crop was ripe, and it was time to harvest some from it. She told her dream to Rodney. All at once, he was quite excited and they started to feel they wanted to chat more freely. So they went into one of the Medraw Caps that was available and soon imagined a comfortable environment for themselves to explore more.

                      Janice could hear Al or Quintin complain about how things were getting confusing.
                      She tried to convey to both of them that they could be excited about it, as it was expanding their understanding, but they weren’t very receptive.


                      Somewhere Al was saying to Becky
                      — The more you try to fix it, the more confused I am
                      — Hahahahah yes! Becky was answering, I guess so! Ahahahah! Al, what a fabulous dance of confusion we do… The Confundo Tango
                      — Ahahah, yes!

                      Al started again to moan:
                      — So who’s dead, who’s the shapeshifter? Who’s the human, who’s the cat? :-??

                      (Rodney was laughing, as for him, he could accept the confusion as much easier, letting him free to wander around!)

                      Illi was a woman, a shapeshifter who shape-shifted into a cat, then, she died. Becky was saying (Rodney added mentally “Now, she is disengaged” as he knew that “death” was a confusing word.) She was an archaeologist
                      — Okay, that’s cool, that’s what I thought, Al acquiesced. Then thought back of what was said of her and wondered… Anyway, it will probably find a perfect answer …
                      Becky nodded
                      — I got lost myself when two Illis appeared, and a grip-thing as well
                      — Because I didn’t want the grip-thing to be dead! Al couldn’t help but laugh. That would have been too easy, like wiggling out. Not using your imagination within the context of objective imagery to sort out “things”…


                      While Rodney and Janice were seeing that their other focuses were kind of stuck in their explanation, they had time freeze and both decided to come back to their “now” to start from their understanding.
                      A funny thought had come to Janice, that she shared with Rodney.
                      — Oh, the funny thing you know, about Becky having written to Sean
                      Rodney nodded. Janice continued:
                      — It just appeared in my mind just moments ago, at the same time you (well, Rafaela) inserted into the story of Malvina. That Becky would have been asking Sean something, and that perhaps it would have helped him talk to his father in the future.

                      — Well, that Sean is SUCH AN ENIGMA! bumped Rodney a bit excited by the implications.
                      — What do you mean? asked Janice, who just remembered that Sean Doran has a cousin named Dorean.
                      — Who is he? Where is he? was asking Rodney now.
                      Rodney was having a hard time remembering what had been inserted yet in the story about him.

                      So Janice manifested the Wrick family tree in front of them, so that he could see better. She started by manifesting an acorn, then threw in on the grass, and it sprung forth in a little sapling with signs hanging from its branches.

                      — Well, it’s all in the script, answered Janice, he’s Lord Wrick’s son.
                      — Oh boy, I am in trouble again for not keeping up with the facts! Rodney sighed, and laughed…
                      Janice laughed “So that you can surprise yourself again!”

                      Rodney felt thankful for the sumafiness of Janice who was always prompt to display helpful hallucinations and reminders.

                      Janice stopped the growth of the family tree for a moment and started to comment it.
                      — See, in Becky’s time of the reality play, Sean is Lord’s Wrick son, and has just lost his wife Margaret, and got his two young children around their 10s.
                      — When is Becky’s time then? Rodney wondered, I hadn’t though of that…
                      Becky’s time for the reality play is around 2033…
                      Then Janice had the tree grow again, and sprout more branches from Sean’s children:
                      — …Now, Sean is the grand-father of the twins, except than the twin’s time is around 2057 if it had not changed yet. It’s so carefully woven, but it’s fun how it effortlessly came to fit in.
                      TRUST AND ALLOWING AND GOING WITH THE FLOW cried Rodney and Janice in unison, in the realisation of how well all this was.

                      Rodney was beginning to remember it all.
                      — I just remember the part about Sean, so he is still a bit of a mystery
                      — Yes, absolutely
                      — We don’t really know do we why Hilarion didn’t mention him
                      — Oh, there’s also the Margaret newspaper thing… Janice fumbled in her memory to find the proper link that would display the image of the newspaper cut just at the right of the family tree. Adding with a wink “with more dates to get bearings”
                      — Ahahah, I’d love to have pocketfuls of ball bearings said Rodney who manifested a pocketful to distract him from the load of information. OH YES! he cried, I had forgetten about this! What an incredibly HUGE story this is…

                      Rodney was squinting his dream eyes
                      — So, Sean was into humanitarian effort after 2001…
                      — His father actually I think, said Janice. He was a bit too young.
                      — Oh OK, I misread, that’s hard to read!

                      Then, all of a second, Rodney erupted in an uproarious laugh
                      AHAHAHA, I had just forgotten to de-hallucinate these pince-nez spectacles! Now, it is much easier to read!
                      Janice was laughing so hard, she thought she would shatter the hallucination with the wobbles of the soundless sounds.
                      Then she added:

                      Sean is born around 2000, a bit before.
                      — OK, maybe he went to help the Tuaregs, Rodney was accessing some information now. Maybe he was the one who put the mummy in the locked room that India found.
                      — You know I had something funny in store for the mummy mystery, Janice couldn’t help but laugh again. I imagined we could have inserted Old Manon, coming down to secretly drink from her old malt whiskey’s flask, and finding them messing up with her old dear stuffed cat…
                      — Maybe the mummy was the same one that Dory saw in the oblong hole in the ground outside the cave, Rodney was still accessing flickering images swirling around his head. And Sean was there helping the Tuaregs and moved it to safety.
                      Of course, years previously, Illi Fergusson, the archeologist had buried the mummy there too for safe keeping.

                      Now, Janice was hooked:
                      — Was it where Illi learned about shapeshifting tricks from the old tribe?
                      Rodney noticed Janice’s funny remark and laughed before continuing:
                      — The Tuaregs were conducting secret coleslaw experiments in the desert. In combination with sound and irrigation techniques, they were going to run the entire Sahara into a broccoli field.

                      Janice was amazed at the cabbage “coincidence” and irrigation stuff with her dream of that morning. Of course she knew there where probably mis-interpretation of the imagery coming from Rodney’s visions, but something made sense.
                      — Around which year? she asked
                      — Arrggh I don’t know!… Then, taking a breath of dream air, Rodney said “1923”. When Illi learned shape-shifting trick, 1923.
                      — It makes sense, said Janice who was now thinking of other dispersed informations about Illi Fergusson.
                      — Yes, she learned from Dashine Ashara… Although who that is, I don’t yet know.
                      — Wow, said Janice. She had felt a connection with the “da’sheen” sound. She continued: somewhere, Illi Fergusson has said: “my parents were aristocrats”
                      — Yes, answered Rodney who was accessing again, they were, and they knew the Wildes .
                      — And it was said too: “[…] a nurturing presence that reminded Illi of the maid she and her parents had in their cottage in South Africa”… like her parents were traveling a lot.
                      — Ah, South Africa! Illi’s parents emigrated to South Africa with Sir Abingdon Portfellow, an elderly scholar on ancient artifacts and embalming.
                      — Seems she knew John Lubbock too, said Janice again, reviving old data banks of information. Dates seem okay, so if she was around 30 in the Tuareg adventure, she could have met him.
                      — Wow, said Rodney, this is even more interesting…

                      “But we may sit at home and yet be in all quarters of the earth.” Janice had just summoned the voice of the naturalist and archaeologist. Rodney applauded “Lubbock said that? cool quote!”.
                      — Yes, like Illi’s quote, which was from him “What we see depends mainly on what we look for”. I wonder if that’s one of your (Illi’s) overlapping focuses, said Janice

                      — Well, Illi didnt stay long in South Africa with boring old whatever his name was, Rodney pursued
                      — Yes, she was young with her parents. They were traveling…

                      They were both amazed at the magical cooperation they were doing at that moment. Janice would have loved to share all of that with Qixi and Jacob, but probably their energies were present at the moment too, though not focused here.

                      She then remembered something else:
                      — Oh, and there is something else! Quintin’s dream of the woman detective. Let me fetch it she said, summoning now Quintin’s memory to talk to them.
                      … by night, near a museum in London, in the 1920s. She was investigating a case of a strange disappearance near a small replicate of an Egyptian pyramid that had been put here for display. There had been an exposition of ancient artifacts in the museum, which had been recently unearthed by a team of archaeologists and graciously lent by Egypt’s officials. Strangely enough, the woman detective feels linked to the story, and is probably Dory
                      Date fits again, she said in awe.
                      — Perfect! said Rodney. She was of course Dory too, but in that focus she was Illi Fergusson… he slowed down, then said No! wait! The detective was another one of my focuses. The archeologist who stole the mummy for safekeeping was Illi.
                      — Hmmm
                      — Hmmm
                      — So you are both the thief and the detective, the one who creates mystery for yourself, how interesting, giggled Janice.
                      — Yes, and not only that Janice! Rodney was taking a mysterious air… I am the mummy too!

                      Janice bust out laughing imagining Rodney in bandages. Yes, of course!
                      Then, she had a name come with that: Apsh’un Shet she said, very self-absorbed.
                      Now, that was Rodney’s turn to burst out laughing.
                      — “I am not sure about that!”
                      — Doubting my insights… mmm, how rude… Janice frowned then laughed again.
                      — If you call me that, I may have to make you out to have a speech impediment
                      — Sounds a good Egyptian name for me though, seems it means “Light of the Dawn
                      — Does it? Oh that sounds nice…
                      — Well, in some Egyptian dialect, yes. She was a Princess…
                      — Hahaha! Reminds me of Aspen Shit. Rodney doubted Janice could be serious about that name, but Janice was now the one to be accessing some information.
                      — Bit bossy Princess
                      — Which dynasty?
                      III rd, answered Janice, who fumbled in links of consciousness to find some timeline to project for them.
                      — What year?
                      Janice projected the timeline below then said
                      — I’d say around 2657 B.C., in Ancients way of telling time.

                      They both marveled at the splendid team work they had been doing, and hoped that the other focuses involved would be able to get some parts of their insights too.

                      Rodney was seeing something else
                      — There is also, a very fascinating link between Tassili in the Sahara and Egypt which is a mystery AND there is a connection with Egypt and Scotland too…
                      Illi the gripshawk comes from the mysterious land of the Sands, south of the map fragment
                      — We may unravel more than we think… Illi is an other dimensional focus of the Illi essence…
                      — Yes she is. She is a connection too, being “lost” in the land of dragons after hopping through traveling portals…
                      — Exactly
                      — And they communicated because they are helping each other
                      — Which is why she doesn’t always ‘fit’ into this reality’s energy configuration
                      — And they have some difficulties at times with translations of other dimensional stuff
                      — Yes! resulting in confusion!

                      And they both laughed again, looking at the great tapestry of clues that was woven before their dream eyes.


                        Tomkin had a keen eye, and despite the dazzling light reflected on the calm glittering surface of the sea, he could see a little dark shape detaching itself from the three bigger forms, and that little dark shape was quickly identifiable as a bird.
                        Apparently the bird was not from these lands, it was black with white strips, or perhaps the contrary, and was flying like a grake drunk of having gorged on overripe Scotch bonnets.
                        Obviously the bird was exhausted, and crashed on the shore where it was nearly knocked out by the grogonuts which fell with big *thuds* from the grogonut tree on which it had just finished its erratic course.

                        Seeing the whole scene from the top of the fatly mossy cliff, Tomkin decided his curiosity was a much more pressing matter than taking care of the herd of grakes, so he ran to the little rocky path which led to the beach below.

                        Apparently the bird was still alive, and more surprising even, that was a talking bird. It could speak strange words.
                        And even stranger, though Tomkin knew none of these words, he could understand all of what the bird wanted to communicate to him.

                        What an odd thing, he wondered… The bird was requesting some food apparently.
                        Tomkin fumbled in his pocket for some bread crumbs, when the gift of the Captain fell on the sand.
                        Could it be?

                        Tomkin’s heart was racing. Could it be that there was magic after all in this strange simple gift? The Captain had said it meant all was connected. That could explain why he could understand that foreign bird… And perhaps it worked on other talking creatures and people too…
                        A whole realm of potentials seemed to open in front of young dreamy Tomkin, who was quickly brought down to more earthly matter when Rudy the myna pricked his hand with its beck for the bread crumbs, projecting to him “Give it to me! Give it to me!”.


                          India Louise and Eugenia momentarily forgot about the gold locket and walked over to the exceptionally long trunk. India dropped the locket into her pocket as she investigated the exterior of the trunk, which didn’t appear to have an opening. It seemed to have been made around whatever it housed, and permanently.

                          ‘How strange’, mused India, ‘it must not be intended to open, ever!’

                          ‘That makes me want to open it’, said Eugenia. ‘Let’s! Let’s open it!’

                          Eugenia was rummaging in the desk drawers for a suitable tool.

                          ‘Wow, look at this, Indy’. She held a heavy black letter opener up to show India, with an elaborate carved dragon on the handle. The dragon had glittering amethyst eyes, and a serpentine line of coloured stones along its back.

                          India shivered involuntarily at the sight of the dragon. Horrid nasty creatures, dragons, she muttered, resisting an urge to cross herself. ‘Peace be with you, now bugger off’ she whispered the spell under her breath so Eugenia wouldn’t hear her and think she was a silly goose. Horrid scaley slimy stinky reptiles.

                          ‘You go first, Genie, try and prise the trunk open.’ India didn’t want to touch the letter opener, but she was rather curious about the contents of the trunk.

                          Eugenia was a strong and capable lass, with a practical methodical mind ~ unlike India Louise ~ and before long the first piece of wood came splintering off.

                          ‘Nice one, Genie, well done.’ India said as Eugenia wrenched off another few planks.

                          ‘Oh MY GOD!’ ‘Jumping Jehosophat!’ ‘What the……’ ‘Holy Moly, Genie, what the….’. After a few initial exclamations, the girls were silent, the hair standing up on their arms.

                          They were looking down at the shrivelled features of a dried up body, covered in bits of disintegrating faded fabric.

                          ‘A mummy! It’s a friggen mummy!’


                            What’s that smell, Indy? It smells lovely in here, like coconut. It’s coming from that trunk over there.


                              India Louise shivered in the draughty corridor and glanced furtively over her shoulder. Bill! she hissed into the keyhole. She tapped softly on the door again, afraid of waking Manon in the next room. It would be difficult enough to explain to Bill, let alone trying to explain to the nosy and rather batty cook.

                              She wrapped her dressing gown tightly round her, and felt the weighty key clunk against her thigh. Eugenia and India Louise had been playing ‘let’s pretend’ with the key that Grandad Wrick had thrown on the bonfire (that India found in the ashes the next day and thought would make a super present for Eugenia….. they both loved odd little gifts).

                              For days they’d been wandering around the many corridors and wings of the Wrick castle, and Eugenia’s ancient rambling Sandlebright Hall. On fine days they’d explored the grounds, the aviaries and stables and hay barns, the meadows and follies, the lodges and farm cottages, through the spinney to the river and the boathouse, and back through the rose arbours… imagining themselves in different times and places, as different people, making up stories and weaving the key into each little story…… the murder at the boathouse and the key to the mystery… the key to the kitchen and the affairs of the cook… the parrots and the key to the bird cage…… the key to the captains trunk in the attic…

                              Until they found the place where the key didn’t fit into the story…that is to say, the one place that should have needed a key, The Locked Room that only great grandad Wrick ever went in, was unlocked.

                              India Louise couldn’t wait to tell Bill all about it.


                                New York, October, 4 th 2033

                                Albert had opened the newspaper, scanning distractedly through the various pages of text that would read aloud automatically when he was running his fingers through it. He was about to close it, when he noticed that article in the Life Focus section.

                                (click for article)


                                Dublin, October 5 th 2033

                                Sean Doran Wrick had received tons of phone calls, emails and voice mails of condolences since the past few weeks, but he had not found the strength to answer any of them. Especially those coming from his father.

                                That morning, he had received some letters that he would have left on top of the others, had he not recognized the round and cheerful calligraphy of Becky on one of them.

                                He had known Becky when they had traveled together in Syria, and had enjoyed so much the lively young woman that they had kept in touch during all those years.

                                He was pleased to read from her, and wanted to enjoy it fully.

                                So he took his time to put to bed Guinevere and Peregrine before. Guinevere was the eldest, very mature for her barely 11 year old. She took great care of her younger brother, who was more dreamy and foolish. Peregrine would turn 10 next March… but he was hardly as responsible as his sister when she was his age…

                                Dear Sean, Becky was writing

                                I would have liked to finally take the time to write to you in better conditions, but I could not delay any longer. I saw the obituary in the newspaper, and wanted you to know that I share your grief and loss, and extend much love and support to you and to your dear little ones.

                                I know you’re not the kind of person to be satisfied with banalities, so I will not dwell on this tragedy, and will remember the best moments we shared together.

                                I still continue my studies and practices on dramatherapy, and till now it has proved very beneficial, in many ways. I have learned so many things. It’s quite rewarding. We are a close-knit group of fools (or drôles as Al loves to say, as some of his ancestors come from the bayous!), and that is very much enjoyable when things that tragic come to one’s reality.

                                In case you feel like talking, don’t hesitate any moment, I’ll be here. Anytime.




                                Orkney Islands, October 4 th, 2057

                                This year again, Sean Doran had not answered his father’s calls.

                                This September 23 th was the twenty fourth anniversary of the disengagement of Lord Wrick’s daughter-in-law, and this was always a very somber period for the family.

                                Hopefully, the twins were here to enliven the old mansion, for as long as their parents, Lord Wrick’s grand-children, would be traveling. And of course, there had been the unexpected return of the books, which had been comforting too.

                                Nonetheless, Hilarion Wrick was sad, and Bill the painter was uneasy as to how he could not quite put right the portrait of the old dragon…


                                  Captain Bone was packing his trunk. The boat was leaving at noon from the quayside of the fishing village, and the captain was nearly ready to say goodbye to the Sharples family. He’s been happy staying with the Sharples and their unruly brood, but he was a man of the sea, and the salty breezes and rollings waves and promise of new adventures was beckoning.

                                  The sea mist rolled over the cluster of cottages as it often did in the early mornings, mingling with the aroma of coffee and freshly toasted crumpets. Captain Bone remembered other morning mists from other shores, warm ones laced with cinnamon and cloves, and chilly ones pungent with fishy smells and squalking gulls…… bright sunny mornings with long golden shadows and the endless half light of arctic northern ones.

                                  The captain closed his trunk without checking to see if he’d remembered everything. Whatever he needed on his journey, he knew he would find. Whatever he left behind, he knew the Sharples would keep safe until his return.


                                  Manolo the vet helped the captain onto the boat.

                                  ¡Hasta la vista, hombre! ¡Buen viaje! Long Tom Bone winked and smiled. As soon as he’d set foot on the boat, he sighed a huge sigh of relief, and all the aches and worries of living on dry land drifted away.

                                  The Sharples family passed the tissues round. It was going to seem strange for awhile without the captain.


                                    Dory was secretly delighted Georges had drugged the coleslaw, despite appearing to be angry. She loved the way different things altered her perception, and even though she knew how to alter her perception without using a drug now, she also knew she was creating the drug and its effects, and that it didn’t much matter whether she did or she didn’t.

                                    (Becky wondered if that principle applied to pain relieving drugs too, and decided that indeed it must. She wondered though if she really really believed it enough to trust herself to create pain relief WITHOUT actually swallowing a little ball of physical matter)

                                    Dory was reluctant to admit it at first, but she’d also known all along that she’d created Georges appearing out of nowhere like that, and that she had in fact invited him. Sometimes it seemed easier to forget that and just grumble, which of course was acceptable too. Grumbling was fun sometimes, but it got awfully boring if she carried it on for too long.

                                    The coleslaw was delicious.

                                    Have some more, offered Geroges

                                    (Becky made a note to change Georges name to Geroges. It was no accident that she kept typing it like that, and she was beginning to think correcting it all the time was futile, and that she was somehow missing the clue)

                                    Dory munched the crunchy coleslaw.

                                    (Without a moments appreciation for her lovely strong full set of teeth, Becky noticed)

                                    Dory unexpectedly felt a moment of appreciation for her teeth. Wow, she thought, I never even think about that, but teeth are cool. She shuddered when she remembered an awful dentist dream she’d recently had.

                                    Dory looked up at Geroges and smiled.

                                    Got any chocolate?


                                      Grandad! Grandad!, called India Louise to Lord Wrick, running in the old manor, her footstep making creaking and loud noises down the windy staircase.

                                      Hilarion Wrick was seated in his favourite armchair, dozing after the hefty meal prepared by Nanny Gibbon, the cat Manfred on his lap.

                                      Raising an eyelid, his cheerful wrinkled face smiled at the little girl.

                                      — And how can I be of assistance, dear little one?

                                      — Grandad, this book is full of wonders, but at times it’s like some characters have their own life, and I don’t always understand what they do… In fact, she added thoughtfully, I don’t understand them most of the time…
                                      — Hahaha, laughed the old Lord, but they have certainly their own lives, as they are living in your imagination. What can I explain to you?
                                      — Well, let me think.

                                      India Louise took a moment, and asked again

                                      — For instance, this woman who just run in the cave, she seems to meet many people here, but I am confused. Is she dreaming, or are they real?
                                      — Well, as a matter of fact, let me express to you that they are all real, even if you think that she dreams them. However, I am understanding of what you are saying, and I shall acknowledge your perspicacity. These characters are not all from the same areas of consciousness.

                                      Here, we will explain for the reader that these books were not unknown to Lord Wrick who had spent lots of time during his youth playing with them. How they were lost and found again is the subject of another story, and we will not divert the reader’s patient attention for much longer on this issue.

                                      — Areas of consciousness?

                                      — Yes, you see, let me explain. That individual that you call Dory, she is in a physical world. But she is aware, to an extent, of other realities that overlap her own reality. Just as her story overlaps your own reality my dear one.

                                      — And Illi? Who is she?
                                      — This one is also Dory, but another personality of her, in another time. She has just passed away, quite recently. She is beginning to slowly become aware of that, and she connects with other of her personalities, and at times blends with them, like the other Illi, the cat-like creature, who is still in the physical reality of Malvina’s world.
                                      — Mmmm, this is quite intricate…
                                      — Hahahaha, yes, it seems so, but it will not be so puzzling when you don’t try to attach your current limited perception to this story. This story is you my dear. You are the story.
                                      — Well, and Sanso, and Georges then, are they dead or what? How come Dory can see them?
                                      — These ones are special, they have mastered the crossing of the Worlds, and can move through them. They move differently though. Sanso comes from a lineage of an ancient tribe of Zion, and had learn from them how to activate some portals, but only through the physical world of Dory, in their own time. He is not yet aware that he can also move through time as well, or even through other Worlds —worlds that he has no conception of yet.

                                      Georges is more consummate in that art. Their meeting is not coincidental. You will see that.

                                      — Thank you Grandad, it’s becoming a bit less confusing.
                                      — Just flow with the story my little one, don’t hold on too much, or you will find it too difficult, and you will stop to find fun in it.


                                        Never speechless for long, Dory wondered out loud if she should just hurry along into the cave and hope to catch up with some other expeditioners, or explore the area around the cave first.

                                        Have a look around, a voice in her head said. Ever the wanderer, always curious to just see what’s around that next corner, and the next….Dory wandered through the strange tall rock shapes. In a sort of natural passageway between vertical rock faces she came upon a group of people squatting next to a large oblong hole in the ground. The womans shawls and headscarves were flapping madly in the wind as she conversed with a boy of about 13, and it seemed to Dory as though they were discussing moving something so that it wouldn’t be found. Dory stood perfectly still just watching, and somewhat strangely they didn’t seem to notice her standing there.

                                        An older man with curly grey hair and a long maroon djelaba and a tall narrow brimless black hat started to hurry away, as if a decision had been made.

                                        Dory watched him until he disappeared from view. When she looked back towards the hole in the ground, it had vanished, and so had the woman and the boy.

                                        PPFFFT! Dory had been deserted again. She turned and headed back towards the cave. Suddenly she felt hungry, and an image of a plate of cool crunchy coleslaw popped into her head.

                                        I hope they’ve laid food on in the cave, she said.


                                          Dory dodged in and out of the people crowded in the narrow back street. She needed several meters clear run to activate her special flying sandals, and she had no idea which way to go.

                                          A girl in a dark heavy blue cape was fiddling with a map on a street corner. Dory snatched the map off her as she ran past, shouting over her shoulder ‘thanks awfully, dont mind if I borrow your map do you?’

                                          Glancing down at the map, she found it had morphed into a page torn from the old testament.


                                            Everything started to happen at once. As Sanso sat up, craning his neck looking at the door in the ceiling, a terrific flapping and squalking noise approached from behind him, starting as a distant vibration and rising in an unbearable crescendo as it rounded the last bend in the tunnel. Suddenly the noise stopped as Sanso felt a weight on his shoulder, and then a thud on the sandy floor. Bugger this, the parrot screeched in his ear. Bugger this bugger this bugger bugger bugger…

                                            Sanso was momentarily speechless, as his eye fell on the key. He picked it up and turned it over in his hand, feeling the rusty weight of it. He turned to look at the parrot on his shoulder, who thankfully had stopped his shrill squalking.

                                            This must be the key to that door, he whispered to the parrot. Let’s try it and see.

                                            Wait for Dory dear Wait for Dory!

                                            Bugger this, sighed the parrot, Here I am bringing the key, remembering everything everyone else forgets, running the show here and I don’t even have a name in this silly story.

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